Tokyo Ghoul (Japanese: 東京喰種(トーキョーグール) Hepburn: Tōkyō Gūru) is a Japanese manga series by Sui Ishida. It was serialized in Shueisha’s seinen manga magazine Weekly Young Jump between September 2011 and September 2014 and has been collected in fourteen tankōbon volumes as of August 2014. A sequel titled Tokyo Ghoul:re began serialization in the same magazine in October 2014 and a prequel titled Tokyo Ghoul [Jack] ran online on Jump Live.

A 12-episode anime television series adaptation by studio Pierrot aired on Tokyo MX between July and September 2014. A 12-episode second season, Tokyo Ghoul √A, which follows an original story, began airing on January 8, 2015, and concluded on March 26, 2015. In North America, Viz Media is publishing the manga while Funimation has licensed the anime series for streaming and home video distribution. The anime was obtained by Madman Entertainment for digital distribution in Australia and New Zealand.

A live-action film based on the manga was announced in June 2016 to open the summer of 2017

Setting

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Tokyo Ghoul is set in an alternate reality where ghouls, individuals who can only survive by eating human flesh, live among the normal humans in secret, hiding their true nature to evade pursuit from the authorities. Including enhanced speed, senses, and regenerative ability, a regular ghoul is several times stronger than a normal human, has a skin resistant to ordinary piercing weapons and have at least one special predatory organ called a “Kagune”, which they can manifest and use as a weapon during combat. Another distinctive trait of a ghoul is that when they are excited the color of their sclera of both eyes turn black and their irises red, or in only one eye of these eyes undergoes the transformation, in the case of a half-ghoul. A half-ghoul can either be born naturally as a ghoul and a human’s offspring, or artificially created by transplanting some ghoul organs into a human. In both cases, a half-ghoul is usually much stronger than a pure-blood ghoul. There is also the case of half-humans, hybrids of ghouls and humans that can feed like normal humans and lack a Kagune while possessing enhanced abilities, but shortened lifespans. To hunt down the ghouls, several government-sponsored organizations around the world were created.

Plot

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The story follows Ken Kaneki, a college student who barely survives a deadly encounter with Rize Kamishiro, his date who reveals herself as a ghoul, he is taken to the hospital in critical condition. After recovering Kaneki discovers that he underwent a surgery that transformed him into a half-ghoul. This was accomplished because some of Rize’s organs were transferred into his body, and now, like normal ghouls, he must consume human flesh to survive. The ghouls who manage the coffee shop “Anteiku” take him in and teach him to deal with his new life as a half-ghoul. Some of his daily struggles include fitting in to the ghoul society, as well as keeping his identity hidden from his human companions.

The prequel series Tokyo Ghoul [Jack] follows the youths of Kishō Arima and Taishi Fura, two characters from the main series who become acquainted when they join forces to investigate the death of Taishi’s friend by the hands of a ghoul, leading to Taishi eventually following Arima’s path and joining the CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul), the federal agency tasked into dealing with crimes related to ghouls as well.

The sequel series Tokyo Ghoul:re follows an amnesiac Kaneki under the new identity of Haise Sasaki, the leader of a special team of CCG investigators called “Quinx Squad”, that underwent a similar procedure as his, allowing them to obtain the special abilities of Ghouls in order to fight them, but still being able to live as normal humans.

Media

Manga

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トーキョーグール)
(Tōkyō Gūru)
Genre Dark fantasy
Manga
Written by Sui Ishida
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
NA
Viz Media
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Weekly Young Jump
Original run September 8, 2011September 18, 2014
Volumes 14 (List of volumes)

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Tokyo Ghoul [Jack]
Written by Sui Ishida
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
NA
Viz Media
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Jump Live
Original run August 2013October 2013
Volumes 1 (List of volumes)
Tokyo Ghoul:re
Written by Sui Ishida
Published by Shueisha
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Weekly Young Jump
Original run October 16, 2014 – present
Volumes 8 (List of volumes)

Tokyo Ghoul started as a manga series, written and drawn by Sui Ishida. It began serialization in 2011’s 41st issue of Weekly Young Jump, published by Shueisha on September 8, 2011, and the final chapter appeared in 2014’s 42nd issue, released on September 18, 2014. The series has been collected in fourteen tankōbon volumes, released under Shueisha’s Young Jump Comics imprint between February 17, 2012, and October 17, 2014. The series has been licensed for an English release by Viz Media and the first volume was released on June 16, 2015.

In August 2013, a prequel spin off manga titled Tokyo Ghoul [Jack] was released on Jump Live digital manga. The story spans 7 chapters and focuses on Arima Kishō and Taishi Fura 10 years before the events of Tokyo Ghoul. The manga features several characters from the main series including the above stated Kishō Arima, Taishi Fura, and future key characters Itsuki Marude and Yakumo “Yamori” Ōmori.

On October 17, 2014, a full color illustration book known as Tokyo Ghoul Zakki was released along with the 14th and final volume of the manga. Zakki includes all promotional images, Volume covers and unreleased concept art with commentary by the creator Sui Ishida.

A sequel titled Tokyo Ghoul:re began serialization in 2014’s 46th issue of Weekly Young Jump, published on October 16, 2014. The series is set 2 years after the end of the original series and introduces a new set of characters.

Light Novel

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Light novel
Written by Shin Towada
Illustrated by Sui Ishida
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
NA
Viz Media
Original run July 19, 2013 – present
Volumes 3 (List of volumes)

Three light novels have been released thus far and all are written by Shin Towada, with illustrations done by series creator Sui Ishida.

On June 19, 2013, Tokyo Ghoul: Days (東京喰種トーキョーグール[日々] Tōkyō Gūru[Hibi]) was released, Illustrations were done by the series creator Sui Ishida and written by Shin Towada and serves as sidestory/spin off that focuses on the daily lives of characters from the Tokyo Ghoul series.

Tokyo Ghoul: Void (東京喰種トーキョーグール[空白] Tōkyō Gūru[Kūhaku])was released on June 19, 2014, and fills in the 6 month time gap between volumes 8 and 9 of the first series.

The third novel Tokyo Ghoul: Past (東京喰種トーキョーグール[昔日] Tōkyō Gūru[Sekijitsu]) was released on December 19, 2014. Sekijitsu takes place before the events of the main series and focuses on further backstory of certain Tokyo Ghoul characters, including Touka Kirishima, Ayato Kirishima, and series protagonist Ken Kaneki.

Anime

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Anime television series
Directed by Shuhei Morita
Written by Chūji Mikasano
Music by Yutaka Yamada
Studio Pierrot
Licensed by
AUS
Madman Entertainment
NA
Funimation
UK
Anime Limited
Network Tokyo MX, TVA, TVQ, TVO, AT-X, Dlife
Original run July 4, 2014September 19, 2014
Episodes 12 (List of episodes)

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Tokyo Ghoul √A
Directed by Shuhei Morita
Written by Chūji Mikasano
Music by Yutaka Yamada
Studio Pierrot
Licensed by
AUS
Madman Entertainment
NA
Funimation
UK
Anime Limited
Network Tokyo MX, TVA, TVQ, TVO, AT-X, Dlife, MRO
Original run January 9, 2015March 27, 2015
Episodes 12 (List of episodes)

 

Original video animation
Tokyo Ghoul [Jack]
Directed by Sōichi Shimada
Written by Chūji Mikasano
Music by Yutaka Yamada
Studio Pierrot
Released September 30, 2015
Original video animation
Tokyo Ghoul: PINTO
Directed by Tadahito Matsubayashi
Written by Sōichi Shimada
Music by Yutaka Yamada
Studio Pierrot
Released December 25, 2015

A 12-episode anime television series adaptation by Pierrot aired on Tokyo MX between July 4 and September 19, 2014. It also aired on TVA, TVQ, TVO, AT-X, and Dlife. The opening theme song is “unravel” by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure, and the ending theme is “Saints” (聖者たち Seijatachi) performed by People In The Box. Funimation has licensed the anime series for streaming and home video distribution in North America. A second season, titled Tokyo Ghoul √A (root A) aired in Japan between January 9, 2015 and March 27, 2015. The opening theme song is “Incompetence” (無能 Munō) by österreich, while the ending theme is “The Seasons Die Out, One After Another” (季節は次々死んでいく Kisetsu wa Tsugitsugi Shindeiku) by Amazarashi.

Video Games

Video games
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Carnaval
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Jail

A video game titled Tokyo Ghoul: Carnaval by Bandai Namco Games was released in Japan for Android smartphones on February 6, 2015, and on February 9 for iOS. The player can build his or her team from a number of ghoul and investigator characters and explore a 3D map. Another video game titled Tokyo Ghoul: Jail for the PlayStation Vita console was released on October 1, 2015. It is set to introduce a new protagonist by the name of Rio, who will interact with characters from the anime/manga. The game was developed by Bandai Namco Games as well and is categorized as an adventure RPG where players will be able to explore Tokyo’s 23 wards.

Live Action Film

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A live-action film based on the manga was announced for the summer of 2017. Kentarō Hagiwara will direct the film. The cast will include Masataka Kubota for the role of protagonist Ken Kaneki and Fumika Shimizu for the role of Touka Kirishima. Yū Aoi was cast as Rize Kamishiro, Nobuyuki Suzuki plays Kotaro Amon and Yo Oizumi is set to play Kureo Mado.

Reception

Tokyo Ghoul was the 27th best-selling manga series in Japan in 2013, with 1,666,348 estimated sales. As of January 2014, the manga had sold around 2.6 million copies. Tokyo Ghoul was the 4th best-selling manga series in Japan in 2014, with 6,946,203 copies sold. The whole original series sold over 12 million copies, while the sequel series, Tokyo Ghoul:re sold over 3.7 million copies in Japan during its debut year in 2015. As of June 2016, both series combined reached over 18 million copies in circulation

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